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Overheard in the street

Teen girl to teen boy: “I can’t stay later than 12: my parents told me to be home by 10.”

Are you bluish? You don’t look bluish!

Aviad will be bar mitzvah next February and we have been working together on learning his Torah portion, Parshat Teruma (Exodus 25,1 – 27,19). One of the first questions to come up was, what exactly is the “blue” (תכלת) mentioned in chapter 25 verse 4, which is also used for making Tzitzit — except that […]


I’ve added some more of my favourite blogs to the sidebar. Since I’ve been commenting on other people’s blogs recently, it seems only fair to enable comments here as well. Please feel free to say hello!


The latest hot topic in Mozilla blog-land is God. It started when Gerv went into hospital with appendicitis, and asked “Those Christians among you, please pray that he would trust continually in Christ as his strength and as his Creator!”. I and others of Gerv’s friends and colleagues added our prayers to the comments on […]

Some Poetry

I recently discovered a very cool site, Seforim Online. Downloads are a little slow, but they have lots of excellent stuff. I’ve been reading and enjoying some of Abraham Ibn Ezra‘s poems. Look at this little gem: אִלּוּ לְפִי אֵידִי דְּמָעַי יִזְלוּן לֹא דָרְכָה רֶגֶל אֱנוֹשׁ יַבֶּשֶׁת, אַךְ לֹא לְמֵי נֹח לְבַד כֹּרַת בְּרִית, כִּי […]

Transit of Venus

A few pictures here.

Qamats and Segol are now endangered species.

I am still in shock from this article, maybe because I have never accepted the concept of the “Academy of the Hebrew language” as dictators of what is or isn’t correct Hebrew. And my confidence is hardly increased when that last link doesn’t work for me and I have to root out the original article […]

Dateline Las Cruces, NM

On the sixth day of our road trip, we at last have the luxury of an RV park with wireless internet access, and I managed to catch up with some percentage of the hundreds of emails that have been accumulating. So far we have camped in Hollister Hills, Ciasta Lake, Joshua Tree National Park, Phoenix, […]

More From My Commonplace Book

It’s a sad coincidence that I should have come to this entry in my commonplace book on the same day that I read Joan Aiken’s obituary. You can have a grievance or you can have fun, but you can’t have both. Joan Aiken, Foul Matter

From My Commonplace Book

Every now and then I think to myself how much I would like to have an old-fashioned commonplace book in which I could copy down passages from books that make a particular impression on me. Occasionally I even start copying a few on scraps of paper, or into files on the computer. Just now while […]

Counting my blessings

I could never adequately express my gratitude for true friendship. I can hardly believe how lucky I am. What a gift it is to have somebody in my life who cares so much about me, who is interested in so many of the same things that I am and loves doing them with me or […]

Moving on again

I was not too surprised by Tuesday’s news, since I have pretty much been waiting for that shoe to drop ever since this shoe dropped. Since last July I have anyway felt rather a fish out of water in the AOL development culture, and I am hoping that this will have the good side of […]

Moving on

Tonight, which is the first night after the end of the period of saying Kaddish for my late mother, Gwen Montagu נעמי בת אברהם ושרה נ”ע, I was meditating and had the following insight. I hope I will be able to write it down as clearly as it appeared to me. כִּי עִמְּךָ מְקוֹר חַיִּים […]


Searching for tickets on Orbitz I get this error message: “Flexible date” searching is available for destinations in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Please enter a new destination or change to “dates not flexible” search. Firstly, why the hell didn’t they say that on the previous screen? Secondly, do they […]

Resopmoc Allizom

It’s definitely good news that the standalone version of Mozilla Composer will have configurable toolbars, as seen on this screenshot. It removes at a stroke all the excuses previously used by iso-8859-1-centric fanatics for not fixing the bug that there is no toolbar button to set the paragraph direction.

Reason to Disbelieve?

I have noticed before how intelligent people will throw logic to the four winds when discussing their religion. It’s interesting to see atheists doing it too. I’m quite sure that Hixie would not come within a thousand miles of perpetrating a multiple non sequitur like this in connection to any other topic. Not that I […]

Anatomy lessons urgently required.

Since Daniel frustrated me yet again by writing a blog entry in a strange Gallic language, and since my knowledge of the aforementioned Gallic language is good enough to read Asterix and Tintin, and good enough to see that the aforementioned blog entry was probably interesting to me; but nevertheless bad enough that I didn’t […]


From now on there will be no more hidden subtexts and secret messages in this blog (except for certain parts of this entry). I will say what I mean, and mean what I say. I appreciate the sensitive reaction from my friend, but I don’t want to put friends in the same position in the […]

VIZZINI: I’m waiting

Last January I read that someone had discovered an annotated edition of Beowulf with translation by no less than J. R. R. Tolkien, and that it was “scheduled for publication this coming summer.” I’m still waiting. Being an unashamed intellectual snob and show-off (what my ex-wife would have called a “tadas mocka”), I prefer for […]

Internationalized site of the day

And the winner is: The Weather Underground. Try playing with your Accept-Language header and reloading.